The “ME” Tree
We have an apple tree in our backyard. This time of year my yard is filled with well-fed squirrels who dine on the little green delicacies that our tree produces this time of year. If I were to ever forget what type of tree it is, I’d quickly be reminded come Spring. The fruit tells you.
Jesus said the same was true about us–that our fruit would identify us as belonging or not belonging to him: By their fruit you will recognize them . . . . Matthew 7:16. There’s a specific type of fruit that is born by those who follow Jesus. It’s listed for us in Galatians 5: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control, (Galatians 5:22-23). It’s called the fruit of the Spirit because this particular fruit is evidence of God’s Spirit in you. (Fruit here is singular, not plural. This is all one fruit, not many. It’s not multiple choice or buffet style. If God’s Spirit is in you these will all come out of you.) In other words, if you’re planted in Jesus (see John 15:1-8) the fruit you’ll bear will be his; it will look like him.
There’s another fruit list in the Bible. It’s called the fruit of the flesh. It’s listed just before the Spirit’s fruit list. It include things I’m very familiar with: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like, Galatians 5:19-21. This “fruit” is what will show up in you if you aren’t planted in Jesus. In other words, it’ll look a lot like you left to yourself. It won’t be pretty.
So imagine you’re a tree and every year you bear fruit. Your owner walks out into the yard to pick your fruit. He pulls a big juicy piece of fruit off your branch and looks closely at it. And guess what? It looks just like you! All over you are hundreds of little yous hanging from your branches. You’re a You Tree, or from a different perspective–a Me Tree. That’s a scary tree! That’s the kind of tree John the Baptist was talking about when he said: The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire, Matthew 3:10.
Now imagine that your owner walks into the same yard and plucks a piece of your fruit. he looks closely at it and guess what? It looks just like Jesus! All over you are hundreds of little Jesuses. Your owner is thrilled. He quickly takes some of the seeds from your Jesus fruit and plants them in the ground. Why? Because he wants more trees like you. He knows he can’t get that fruit anywhere else in the world. It’s the precious fruit born by a Jesus Tree, and he wants a whole plantation of Jesus Trees. Can you blame him?
Friends, your fruit tells the truth about you. Fruit doesn’t lie. Which type of tree are you? Not sure? Look at your fruit.